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U. Colorado Conservatives Find Themselves Caught In A Liberal Frenzy

This story was written by Hanna Johnson, Campus Press

Across the University of Coloradocampus, Barack Obama posters suggestively colored in shades of red and blue with the phrase "hope" are hanging in windows and are being sold alongside the timeless likenesses of Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles.

It is an inspiring sight to see so much political awareness on campus, especially in the face of those who call students apathetic. But, one may ask, where have all the Republicans gone?

Turns out, Republicans aren't as scarce on the CU campus as it may seem. It just takes a bit of effort to find them.

Wyatt Frampton, a junior biochemistry major and a self-described conservative, said he isn't harboring any angst toward the Democratic Party.

In fact, Wyatt said he thinks having the Democratic National Convention in Denver has some advantages.

"I think it's a good economic opportunity for Denver," Wyatt said.

Frampton admits, however, that CU's campus is not as Republican-friendly as it is Democrat-friendly.

"[CU] can be a little intolerant," Frampton said. "Conservative ideas definitely don't get put out there as much as left ideas. The left side definitely gets out more with the election."

Political science Professor Vincent McGuire, who labels himself as a Republican, said he doesn't like to talk about his political affiliation at CU.

"A professor that goes into the classroom and tells his students what to think and who to vote for is committing intellectual intimidation," McGuire said. "I am (a Republican); I just don't tell anybody."

McGuire added that there are times when CU Republicans don't feel confident enough to express their beliefs with the zealous ardor of Democrats and liberals on campus.

"I've had students come to me, very upset, sometimes in tears, because they spoke their mind in class about their beliefs and were made fun of, ridiculed," McGuire said. "College should be about overcoming bigotry and biases, not perpetuating them."

However, numerous people cite Boulder's liberal, open-minded reputation as one of the things that drew them to the school in the first place.

Daniel Wert, a sophomore sociology major, offers a different perspective on Boulder's relative liberal bend.

"Is it any wonder that they're all liberals here?" he said. "Everybody's a pothead."

In light of the convention, however, and in support of Obama's hopeful message of bridging the gap to create change, some say they are encouraging dialogue between liberals and conservatives.

As McGuire points out, "If liberals can't be tolerant of conservatives, then who really are the open-minded ones?"